For those of you who have not had a chance to catch “The First Garden”, the play tells the story of:
…Olive Pink, a trailblazing Aboriginal land rights activist and environmentalist. Ridiculed by her peers and shunned by the Alice Springs community for espousing ideals that we considered to be outlandish she was viewed as a public nuisance, to be barely tolerated.
However, due to her determination and vision the Olive Pink Botanical Garden was established and ‘preserved for posterity as a place of peace and beauty’ in Alice Springs.
The First Garden also touches on key narratives in modern Australian identity, seamlessly incorporating Aboriginal rights, environmentalism, the Gallipoli legend and feminism into its gentle rythmic tone. This reflects a maturation of our society, where we are prepared not only to acknowledge but also to reconcile.
What a exciting project to be working on! – it’s an important story with huge potential to make an impact on the national stage. Chatting with the cast and crew of the play was insightful and with an upcoming season at the Sydney Botanic Gardens, I’m looking forward to hearing more about story of The First Garden and how it is received in other parts of the country.
Here are some audio pieces from the program (and excerpts of the play itself) that will help give you a feel for what the play is all about:
Instrumental Intro: “The First Garden”Instrumental Intro: “The First Garden”
Play excerpt: Olive Pink and Captain Harold SouthernPlay excerpt: Olive Pink and Captain Harold Southern
Play excerpt: Johnny Tjampitjimpa and Olive PinkPlay excerpt: Johnny Tjampitjimpa and Olive Pink
Play excerpt: Olive Pink and Henry Wardlaw on aboriginal wagesPlay excerpt: Olive Pink and Henry Wardlaw on aboriginal wages
Instrumental Last: “The First Garden”Instrumental Last: “The First Garden”
I’ll add some more pieces (i.e. from the 8CCC interview) to the list above over the course of the next couple of days.
In meantime, if you’re interested in getting along to a showing of the play, follow this link for venues and times of The First Garden’s upcoming season. You can also visit this link at Currency Press to order a copy of the play.
To all those involved with The First Garden, all the best in Sydney!
– Edan Baxter
Sustenance Presenter (Wednesdays 7 – 8:30pm)